Following the departure of heir apparent Tom Staggs last year and the search for a new candidate seemingly taking longer than expected, today The Walt Disney Company announced that Bob Iger’s contract as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer has been extended to July 2nd, 2019.
“Given Bob Iger’s outstanding leadership, his record of success in a changing media landscape, and his clear strategic vision for Disney’s future, it is obvious that the Company and its shareholders will be best served by his continued leadership as the Board conducts the robust process of identifying a successor and ensuring a smooth transition,” said Orin C. Smith, Independent Lead Director of the Disney Board. He continued, “Mr. Iger has led The Walt Disney Company to unprecedented success during his 11 years as CEO, driving Disney to new creative heights, expanding the Company’s global reach, fostering technological innovation, and delivering year-after-year of record financial results. During his tenure, Mr. Iger has created enormous value for shareholders, with total shareholder return of 448%, compared to 144% for the S&P 500, and a dramatic increase in the Company’s market capitalization to $177 billion from $46 billion.”
“Leading this great company is a tremendous privilege, and I am honored to have been asked to continue serving as CEO through July 2nd, 2019,” Iger said. “Even with the incredible success the Company has achieved, I am confident that Disney’s best days are still ahead, and I look forward to continuing to build on our proven strategy for growth while working with the Board to identify a successor as CEO and ensure a successful transition.”
Iger’s current contract was set to expire in June of 2018, although that date was also an extension — the CEO originally planned on walking away in 2015.